Back to the roots of Abalone

It all started 30 years ago… After the first edition in 1988, the game Abalone has spanned generations and years with the same authenticity and it became a classic and powerful abstract game.

Here is a beautiful video from the official Abalone Facebook account, showing a testimony of the designers Michel Lalet and Laurent Lévi about the origins of their game:


January 13, 2019

A set of Abalone marbles thrown on an Abalone board:
no past, but many possible futures…

“Quiescence is only a self-contained movement,
often more uncanny than movement itself.”

(WHAT IS A THING?, Winter 1935-1936,
A. Various Ways of Questioning About the Thing,
10. The Historicity (Geschichtlichkeit) of the Definition of the Thing)
[translated by W.B. Barton, Jr. and Vera Deutsch]

Martin Heidegger, German philosopher (1889-1976)


Who starts? With which colour? The choice is yours!


All quotes in the Dictionnary of quotes.

The day that changed my life

December 30, 2018

Abalone Deluxe, front

Abalone Deluxe, back

“One Christmas evening, my destiny changed dramatically.
On this day, my father had the great idea to slip a chess game [an Abalone game] under the Christmas tree in our family home. He had no idea that this initiative would change my life.”

(Joueur d’échecs*, p.13, Fayard, october 2017)

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, French chess grandmaster (1990-)


* Chess player

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (MVL) on Wikipedia

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave’s website

All quotes in the Dictionnary of quotes.


December 22, 2018 in the Hexagon (France): a pretty mess… ^^’

The French bourgeoisie is still blocking the centre;
the yellow vests are trying to block the borders.

The board will clearly lose, but who will win?


* Democrazy is also a French card game where players vote to change the rules.

The “official” 4-player rule

After the “official” rule for 3 players, here is the “official” rule for 4 players, from the same board game box: Abalone+ multiplayers.




This variant opposes two teams of two players. Each player has nine marbles, disposed as shown on the diagram 1.

Diagram 1

Any communication between players of the same team is strictly forbidden.


The goal of the game for each team is to push six marbles of the opposite team out of play, into the board’s outer rim. The ejected marble can belong to one opponent or the other.


They are exactly the same as those of the 2-player rule. Each player can move in a same time 1, 2, or 3 of his marbles to a free point. All the directions are possible, forward, backward (“inline moves”), and even laterally (“side-step moves”).

You are not allowed to push more than 3 marbles of your colour in the same time. Marbles over 3 are not considered, so it is impossible to have Sumitos of 4 against 3, 5 against 2, etc. The maximum marbles of your colour which can be moved is 3.


You can push opponents’ marbles if you are in a Sumito position, as shown on the diagram 2:

Diagram 2

2 marbles of the same team can push 1 marble of the opponent team.

3 marbles of the same team can push 1 marble of the opponent team.

3 marbles of the same team can push 2 marbles of the opponent team.

To make a Sumito, to can count the marbles (1 or 2) of your partner, but the first marble has to belong to you. You can push 2 marbles of the opponent team regardless of their colour.


A marble is ejected when a push make it go out of the board by any of the 6 sides of the hexagon, as shown on the diagram 3:

Diagram 3

Please note that the first team who pushed off 6 marbles of the other team wins the game.